What more can you say but brilliant. Lucas Harrell dispatched the worst offensive team in baseball in dominating fashion. The groundball specialist would give the Padres six hits and nothing else. J.D. Martinez used his arm to save Harrell in the ninth with a heck of throw to gun down a runner at the plate. Matt Downs would supply the only run of the game with a homer and that was about it for the offense. That would be good enough on a night that saw the most impressive pitching performance of the season.
With the Astros going to a six-man rotation, every starter outside of Wandy Rodriguez and Bud Norris has been put on notice. The good news is that all of them have responded with good to great performances. Harrell was very good on a night when he had to be, with little to no offense to back him up. He would produce 12 ground ball outs and helped the Minute Maid Park crowd go home happy in less than two hours. The incredibly fast game got very interesting in the ninth but thanks to a fantastic throw from J.D. Martinez and some tough pitching from Harrell, it lead to nothing for the Padres.
The offense was, well, pretty bad but credit the Padres’ pitching staff, especially San Diego starter Clayton Richard. Richard pitched a great 7 innings but his only mistake would be the difference. Matt Downs would go deep in the bottom of the 3rd. Downs has had a tough season but he has power and can change a game with one swing of the bat. Not much more to say about the offense than that so let’s get them tomorrow.
The ‘Stros finish the homestand tomorrow with Dallas Keuchel going for his third straight good to great start.